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Global Equities Close On Positive Note

Most global equities closed the first quarter on a positive note after a key measure of U.S. inflation cooled in February by more than expected, says HSBC Bank Canada Asset Management’s ‘Canada Outlook.’ Many observers cited the softer inflation data as reason to be optimistic that the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) may be close to ending its rate-hiking campaign. Positive inflation news in Canada only added to the more upbeat tone of domestic markets. Statistics Canada’s February inflation numbers were 5.2 per cent higher than a year ago, but down from 5.9 per cent in January. While markets have tried several times to anticipate peak interest rates without success, this latest U.S. and Canadian data signaled that the case for peak rates is gaining strength. While this is welcome news, a choppy environment over the next quarter is anticipated as policymakers continue to wrestle with inflation.

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